NFL Week 16 POP Score rankings: Nine straight weeks at number 1 for Patriots

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Sammy Morris (#34) scores the third Patriots t...

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It looks like the New England Patriots will end the 2012 NFL regular season with the most efficient offense in the league based on this year’s POP Score rankings. The Pats have a comfortable lead over the second place Atlanta Falcons in these weekly rankings.

Take a look at the rankings below and you will notice that of the 10 teams which have already gained playoff berths, eight of them are listed in the top 12 spots in the rankings. Washington (ranked tied for fourth) and the Cowboys (ranked 10th) will face off this Sunday night for the NFC East title and a playoff spot, meaning that nine of the top 12 in the POP Score rankings will be playoff teams.

(POP Score is based on the simple premise that it is the offensive team’s objective to score a touchdown (or at the least, kick a field goal) in each possession. POP Score stands for Points per Offensive Possession. Here’s how it works: The Falcons in Week One had nine possessions in their game. On four of the possessions, they scored a touchdown. On four of their possessions they kicked a field goal. They punted once. They scored 24 points on their four TDs (extra points are not included in Pop Score); 12 points on their four field goals. The Atlanta offense scored 36 points on nine possessions. By dividing the 36 points by the nine possessions, you get a POP Score of 4.0. Maximum POP Score is 6.0, which would indicate that a team scored a touchdown every time they had an offensive possession.)

Here’s a look at the POP Score rankings through Week 16.

Team, POP Score, (Season Offensive Scores/Possessions)

1. New England 2.53 (85 scores in 167 possessions)
2. Atlanta 2.23 (74 scores in 156 possessions)
3. New York Giants 2.1 (71 scores in 156 possessions)
4tie. Seattle 2.09 (63 scores in 148 possessions)
4tie. Washington 2.09 (67 scores in 158 possessions)
6tie. Denver 2.07 (69 scores in 164 possessions)
6tie. New Orleans 2.07 (66 scores in 167 possessions)
8. Green Bay 2.01 (64 scores in 163 possessions)
9. San Francisco 1.97 (63 scores in 157 possessions)
10. Dallas 1.88 (63 scores in 156 possessions)

11. Baltimore 1.87 (66 scores in 165 possessions)
12. Cincinnati 1.83 (65 scores in 169 possessions
13. Tampa Bay 1.8 (63 scores in 168 possessions)
14. Houston 1.79 (68 scores in 181 possessions)
15tie. Detroit 1.73 (66 scores in 175 possessions)
15tie. Minnesota 1.73 (62 scores in 161 possessions)
17. Carolina 1.69 (49 scores in 151 possessions)
18. Indianapolis 1.65 (57 scores in 160 possessions)
19. Pittsburgh 1.62 (58 scores in 167 possessions)
20. Buffalo 1.57 (54 scores in 166 possessions)

21. Chicago 1.53 (53 scores in 162 possessions)
22. San Diego 1.5 (52 scores in 160 possessions)
23. Miami 1.49 (51 scores in 159 possessions)
24tie. Oakland 1.46 (56 scores in 167 possessions)
24tie Philadelphia 1.46 (54 scores in 167 possessions)
26. Cleveland 1.43 (55 scores in 172 possessions)
27. Tennessee 1.34 (50 scores in 170 possessions)
28. St. Louis 1.32 (46 scores in 161 possessions)
29. New York Jets 1.24 (44 scores in 170 possessions)
30. Jacksonville 1.17 (48 scores in 174 possessions)
31. Kansas City 1.09 (44 scores in 168 possessions)
32. Arizona 0.99 (43 scores in 190 possessions)

Biggest gainer this week: Green Bay (up four spots from last week); Baltimore (up three spots from last week); Dallas (up three spots from last week); Seattle (up three spots from last week).

Biggest loser this week: Houston (down four spots from last week); Cincinnati (down three spots from last week); Pittsburgh (down three spots from last week); San Francisco (down three spots from last week); Tampa Bay (down three spots from last week).

NFL POP Score league average through Week 16: 1.69

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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